Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Today I have slippery smooth fingers from a slight miscalculation involving superglue and a teddy bear's fabric eye.

It is a weird sensation that brought back a rush of memories about an ex boyfriend from my undergraduate days in Liverpool and the Isle of Man. In our honors year, we had big individual research projects that we needed to carry out. Mine was on turbot but that is irrelevant. My boyfriend's project was looking at spatial distribution of limpets on the rocky shore, but because he had great big hands he didn't have the dexterity to glue tiny identification number (say 2x2 mm) onto the limpet's back.

I spent many laborious hours gluing itty bitty numbers onto limpets with superglue, always at the most inhospitable time of day--first light (I am NOT a morning person), in the roughest of weather (have you ever been to the Isle of Man?)

Did I get a mention on the paper? Noooo. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Another thing that still grinds at me from that ill-fated relationship is a botany practical we did in second year. This was a project run between Bristol and Liverpool Universities, involving at least 2 prominent profs and several very eager PhD students. The project was looking at energy partitioning in tomato plants. So they fed the plant a certain amount of food (calories) and then measured the growth rate of the fruit on the vine.


So we measured the width of the fruit and I said (me) we could convert that to a volume with the formula

sphere volume=4/3¶r3

And get a better value--because any idiot knows that a tomato is round not flat right? Right.

Not right.

These wonderful scientists had never thought to do this--can you imagine?
So after we handed in our practicals, just before the next lecture, the prof comes up to my then boyfriend and shakes his hand. Even though we'd all written this brilliant piece of scientific wonder in our write ups because student's share right?

He knew that my boyfriend had been the genius to think of this. And that SOB ex of mine sat and took the glory and later said to me, 'I couldn't say my girlfriend thought of it, could I'?

Ahem. Girlfriend was a student too, buster.

So it has only taken me seventeen years to get that off my chest.

And I don't care that his dad had two Porches, two Mercs, a Bentley or a whole collection of classic British motorcycles. I got the best deal in the whole world when I fell in love with a man studying elasmobranch rectal glands. Bless him.

Look what I found--my Honor's year :) man we were so hot LOL.


  1. Ah, love over elasmobranch rectal glands. How sweet! ;) I don't even know what an elasmobranch is, but I'm guessing it's cool!

    And the Kenneth in your class stole my hairdo! That's what I had during the 90's. It's a wonder DH even thought I was cute!

    Speaking of cute, aren't you a button in that picture?

  2. Elasmobranch=Shark :)

    Kenneth was a sweetheart. He, Gareth and Andy Maines were always apprehended at IOM customs for suspected drug smuggling, just because they were Goths. They really weren't into anything like that and was kind of funny.

  3. Hey, I didn't know they took school pictures in university as well. Cool. And you look so puretty! :-)

    The old boyfriend sounds like a chauvinistic pig. Good riddance!

  4. Thank you Peggy. Mug shots, in case we got lost on the island ;)

  5. Now you can use old boyfriend as a villain, or better yet, kill him off in some gruesome way. :) And your pic is really cute! Whew! Now and I know why I never made it in science...I dropped out right around frog dissection in Grade 10... :)